In the height of Christmas drinks party season, I often get asked the inevitable question: “So what do you do?” My reply that I’m a PR consultant is often met with baffled bemusement or worse, the usual quips about Ab Fab and how many bottles of Bolly I get through a week. (None by the way, I prefer a good cup of strong coffee!)
The problem is, a public relations professional can be all sorts of things, depending on which sector they work in, but the main principle is the same. We have clients, whether companies or individuals, and our job is to make them famous. By acting as middle man or woman between the client and the journalist, we secure editorial coverage in many forms. This is the Janet and John version as of course it’s far more complicated than that. There are issues such as managing brand reputation, crisis management and making decisions on when to keep your client out of the press. And then there's integration with social media, blogs and other online content – the list goes on and on.
However, a more important question is: What makes a good PR consultant? Many people may try their hand at PR but do they have what it takes to be in it for the long haul?
Having worked in PR and journalism for all my working life to date, I have had time to analyse this question so I can share at least some of the answers. It goes without saying that stellar writing skills and creativity are essential, but what other assets are needed?
Here are my top five attributes of a great PR person:
What do you think makes a good PR professional? Leave your comments below.